A scathing new Wall Street Journal editorial all but accuses President Donald Trump of intentionally sabotaging his own party's chances of holding onto the House of Representatives in this fall's midterm elections.
In particular, the paper's conservative editors analyze the way that Trump's strategy of driving up base turnout against Democratic incumbents in rural states such as North Dakota and Missouri, they say that this will likely do great harm to vulnerable House Republicans who represent suburban districts.
"Mr. Trump might not welcome a Democratic House, but he also might not fear it as long as Republicans keep the Senate," they write. "More than even most politicians, Mr. Trump always needs a foil, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be from central political casting."
That said, the editors lament that this strategy would render it impossible to pass any further conservative reforms during Trump's presidency -- and they say that a big Democratic victory could still "start up the impeachment machinery," even if the possibility of conviction in the Senate is remote.
"Judges aside, the House has been essential to Mr. Trump’s main achievements that have lifted the economy -- corporate tax reform, deregulation -- and whatever government-reform victories they’ve had," they write. "If they lose the House this year, Republicans aren’t likely to get it back until the end of the Trump Presidency."